I'd like to introduce you to my good friend Nathan Jones. I met Nathan when I joined my first metal band ever at age 19. He was only 16 or 17 at the time, I believe, but after rehearsing with him a few times, I knew that he would do some amazing things through his musical gifts.
Fast forward to today, and I was right.
Nathan plays bass full-time for the Zane Williams Band, a local country artist from McKinney, Texas. My wife and I love to go see them play, and it's been really cool to see Nathan up there doing his thing on stage. He even got the chance to play with Zane at the legendary Grand Ole Opry last year.
Nathan is truly one of the best musicians I've ever seen, and has been since I've known him. More than that, he's just a really great person. His attitude is always positive, he treats everyone like they're family, and he will do anything he can to help you out. He's humble, despite the fact that he has every opportunity to be arrogant because of how talented he is. He was even nice enough to record some bass parts for my upcoming EP! I love this guy, and I'm sure you will, too.
Without further ado, meet Nathan Jones.
Q: Summarize your life and who you are in a couple of sentences:
The right place at the right time enough of the time to do what I love all of the time.
Q: Where are you from, and how has it shaped you?
I grew up in Apex, NC however, my most important formative years have been spent in Plano, TX. Coming from a musical family, I was given every opportunity to explore any and all musical avenues I wanted. Unlike most starry eyed, naive, aspiring young musicians, my parents did not attempt to dissuade me from a musical lifestyle but rather encouraged and supported my dreams. Having two brothers to play with anytime I wanted also put me at a great advantage. We would spend nearly all of our time covering songs poorly and loving every minute of it. So, I would have to say those early years spent freely playing with my family had the most impact in shaping my playing and my personal outlook on music and creativity as part of life.
Q: Where do you currently live?
Q: What do you do for a living?
I play Electric and upright bass primarily for the artist Zane Williams but also for other wonderful people.
Q: If money wasn’t an issue, what would you be doing?
For the most part, what I do now. I would also like to have a free recording studio to help artists and give them a space to freely experiment and create the art the want to without the pressures of time and money. Think how much cool music we could have if there were no rules!
Q: What are some things that inspire/motivate you?
The work of great artists and musicians. There are too many to mention here but, I like to listen to records that are out of my depth and experience the awe of what humans are capable of. This translates to all genres. I also draw a great deal of inspiration from the other musicians I work with. It’s important to learn and absorb all you can from every musical encounter you make and to try to surround yourself with people you think are better than you to try and rise to meet them.
Q: What frustrations/struggles do you find yourself dealing with regularly?
What most people don’t see or understand is that a touring lifestyle is mostly monotonous. You travel, you unload, you set up, you wait, you play, you tear down and pack up, you sleep to wake up and do it all again. This repetition can wear on you and I find it, more than anything else, to be the hardest part of the job. Oh! Also finding a place to poop. Can’t poop on the bus. Most other bands would probably agree this is a constant struggle.
Q: Tell me about a defining moment you’ve had at some point in your life.
I’m going to throw a few out...
Victor Wooten Bass Nature Camp when I was 14. Gave me a chance to hang with the greatest bass players in the world but also served me a plateful of humility. I learned that I had a lot of work to do on myself and my playing.
Getting fired from my teaching job. Set me down the path of pursuing music as my career.
Playing the Grand Ole Opry. I felt legitimized in a weird way. Like I deserve to do what I do.
Q: What are some of your goals for the next 10 years?
To have a band of my own. To record a record of music that is an expression of me. To buy a home. Not so easy when you’re a self employed as a musician. Hopefully start a family. Open a lessons school. Play red rocks. Tour the world.
Q: Tell me about some of your favorite things and why? (art, books, music, activities, etc.)
Favorite Record - Illinois - Sufjan Stevens (really any of his records)
Favorite Bass Player - Pino Palladino (today anyway)
Favorite activities - Bread Making, cooking, Jiu-Jitsu, practicing, recording, mixing
Q: Life motto?
Everything happens the way it happens and couldn’t happen any other way.
Anything you want to promote or advertise?
Check out the brand new Zane Williams Band record called "Bringing Country Back". Also, if you're interested in taking lessons with me, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zane Williams Band - "Bringing Country Back" (2016)